I've always liked these books despite their flimsy story lines and sappy characterizations. There's something comfortable about them and about Ralph Cosham's voice that keeps me returning to this series and helps me overlook the flaws in writing and conception. But this book surprised me.
This is perhaps the best written and conceived book of the series so far. Penny's confidence is clearly growing as her characters and plot lines gain complexity and depth. The best part is that the ending was entirely a surprise, but not a sloppy one as she is prone to. This ending was clearly thought out, and I'm looking forward to the continued evolution of Penny's writing.
Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.
What was most amazing to me about this book is how much was left unresolved at the end. I counted at least 5 plot points left hanging and this is not a short book. That was disappointing A lot of the book resolves around AA which Penny seemed to enjoy mocking .Somehow that seemed really odd. I did not care for a lot of the characters, particularly Suzanne, but I don't suppose you have to like everyone in a murder mystery. Still I am used to enjoying this series more. I also couldn't help but think while reading that this was the first Gamache book in which it appeared to be absolutely no fun to be Gamache. Even in the book where he tries to recover from the factory killings, he enjoys reading and food and stuff like this. In this one, he gets a lot of crap from people - Olivier, Beauvoir, etc. Just seemed way less satisfying for him and somehow for me too. I also had a strong idea who the killer was, and I never try to figure that out ahead of time. Still I would have had a hard time believing in it turning out to be someone else.
At the top of my Louise Penny favorites
A conversations between Chief Inspector Gamache and his next in command, Inspector Bovoir concerning finding the perfect life partner. A very personal and sweet moment.
I love his voice, his use of some French words. He is just perfect for how I imagine Chief Inspector Gamache.
An inside look at the REAL world of Artists and Art collectors
Very enjoyable story with some of the best characters at Three Pines, and an in depth look into the personalities of artists and art collectors. Bravo !
This isn't the strongest plot in the Inspector Gamache series. Still good just not the best of these.
Inspector Gamache is wonderful. All the characters are great, though.
The reader, Ralph Cosham, is outstanding.
Louise Penny found a great thing by putting a solid back story with her characters as well as creating good mysteries. In this installment though, there is just to much peripheral, that it threatens to take over the book. Still a good mystery, but a bit too much drama.
I wandered into Louise Penny by accident of adventure and have not looked back since. I found in her stories an exquisite writer who paints fleshly characters that have evolved continually over the series. I want to move to Three Pines, regardless of the murder rate. I am glad Ms Penny decided to continue the series. I loved the questions she weaves through the narratives: here she asks about the play of light in life, in a painting that really offers food for thought. The mysteries are also wonderful. The narrator has never failed to deliver an excellent performance either. Treat yourself to this book.
Louise Penny's stories starring the gentle and wise Inspector Armand Gamache just get better and better. And I can't wait for the next one: "The Beautiful Mystery," due out in late August 2012. If you haven't read any of them yet, start with "Still Life," the author's introduction to the quiet little town of Three Pines in Quebec and its quirky--and sometimes dangerous--inhabitants.
Plot and characters were more interesting than Penny's earlier title.
Cosham delineates the characters well.
Good story and listen!
I have enjoyed all of Louise Penny's book, and this one is my favorite. The character development, suspense, humor and wit.
The narrator brings her wonderful writing to life.